During the same week in which a lawsuit was filed in federal court alleging GateHouse Media fired a 62-year-old publisher to replace her with a 39-year-old, the company settled another age discrimination lawsuit.
An order filed Thursday in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri says GateHouse Media has reached an agreement with former Rolla Daily News advertising manager Lonna Sowers, who was also 62 when she was fired and replaced with a 33-year-old.
Terms of the settlement were not included in the court documents.
In the lawsuit, filed May 5, 2008, in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, lawyers for Ms. Sowers claimed she was fired on May 10, 2007, "because of her age."
Ms. Sowers, 62, was replaced by Alissa Martin, who was 33 at the time. Ms. Sowers also claims she had been "treated less favorably than her younger co-worker by defendants."
The company listed the reasons for firing Ms. Sowers in a June 21, 2007, letter sent to Ms. Sowers by a St. Louis law firm, which said, "Ms. Sowers was discharged on May 10, 2004 (sic) after the advertising sales figures were and had been dramatically lower than were acceptable. In addition, in the course of the company's investigation as to the cause of this downturn in advertising business, the company learned that a major part of the problem was significant antipathy toward Ms. Sowers from the advertising public and her co-workers."